February 24, 2023
Removing Kansas Public Employee Retirement System (KPERS) 15% limit on alternative investments, Senate Bill (SB) 23, was scheduled for debate on the Senate floor. Just before the bill was to be debated, it was pulled from the schedule because several of us questioned removing the limit. We were told the bill was needed because current “alternative” investments are bumping the 15% limit and the KPERS Board would be forced to liquidate some investments at an inopportune time. After more research, it was discovered that nothing requires liquidation or selling alternative investments at the 15% limit, but the Board is restricted from participating in additional alternate investments.
Gun Safety courses would be optional in public schools if SB 116 becomes law. After a cordial debate, the bill passed the Senate 30 to 8. I voted yes.
County Identifier on License Plates is the intent of SB 130. It’s helpful to see the two character code identifying a Kansas county on license plates. Custom plates and specialty plates have not been including the county ID. SB 130 would require the county ID on these plates. The county ID will help with people who have wrongly received a ticket or bill from the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) because they have the same number on their license plate as someone from another county. Many people like seeing the ID. The bill passed the Senate 32 to 4.
Presidential Primary instead of Caucus is a bill that I requested. Kansas has been holding party caucuses, instead of primary elections for President mainly because of cost. National party conventions to nominate candidates for President are usually held in July, while Kansas primaries are in August. Thus, party caucuses are used to decide Kansas nominees for President. It would make sense to move the Kansas primary so that it could include candidates for President. This would address the cost issue and allow primary winners more time between the primary and the general elections.
Property Tax Relief Just a reminder about tax relief programs passed by the legislature last year. The Secretary of Revenue is working on problems people have had using the forms to apply for these programs. The link for the application for property tax relief for low income seniors and disabled veterans is posted at https://www.ksrevenue.gov/pdf/k-40svr.pdf and the application for some property tax relief for businesses shut-down or negatively impacted by the Governor’s shutdown during COVID is at https://www.kdor.ks.gov/Apps/Misc/PropTaxAssistance/StoreFront
You may also call KDOR at 785-368-8222 or e-mail [email protected] with questions about the programs and applications.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.